August 16th, 2021

Green

Scary letter from the Red Cross! (205.1)

I almost tossed the thin envelope from the American Red Cross right in the recycling bin, figuring it was a fundraising effort, but I noticed that they actually spelled my name right on the envelope, and decided to open it. I'm glad I did!

According to the letter, they need my help for an "investigation of a possible transfution-related problem that we recently received. A patient who received blood has developed a health problem that may be related to blood transfusion."

The letter asked me to call a number so they could ask some questions, and added that they might need me to provide a blood sample for testing.

I called, and the helpful Red Cross rep ran through a dozen or so questions about my health within a few weeks of my July 1st blood donation. A lot of the same sorts of questions they ask during intake before a donation, with a few more specifics. She says the hospital where the patient received a transfusion and then had a concerning health problem is still doing their investigation, and they may still need a blood sample from me. If so, they'll call. It sounds as though the patient had a bacterial infection, but that of course could have come from a variety of places other than my blood. She checked the records, and wasn't able to figure out what the specific infection was.

In the meantime, I've been deferred from donating blood, which is a shame, because I was about to be eligible again next week! Assuming they decide there wasn't a problem with my blood, they'll release me soon.